Seeking post-hive loss advice
Just lost a hive. I believe the hive was weak from varroa, then sadly invaded by yellow jackets to the point the hive could no longer defend itself (had some seasoned keepers take a look and they agreed). In two deeps, there were only a handful of bees left, no queen, about 8 frames of capped honey, a few frames uncapped honey, pollen and maybe 20-30 capped brood cells total spread out among 6 frames (the larvae was dead). This was my first year, and only hive. I Learned a lot, ready to try again next year. I hope to have at least 2 hives next year because I think I could have solved some of the following questions if I had an extra hive right now, nonetheless:
1) What should I do with the uncapped honey frames over winter? With the moisture I understand they would get moldy just storing them, I don't have freezer space to keep them either, should I just try to shake them out, or harvest them to feed to bees next year? If I do harvest the uncapped honey this late in the season (would probably just crush and strain because I do not have an extractor), what should I do with those frames if there aren't bees left to clean them up?
2) Can the frames that had traces of dead capped brood be used next year? Like I said there are maybe 20 capped cells across 6 frames so we're not talking a lot. I'm guessing the new bees will clean these out? If so, will a freezing of the frames and sealed storage be sufficient to prevent wax moths?
Thank you for your help!
Re: Seeking post-hive loss advice
Put the raw nectar frames outside, the neighborhood bees will clean them up in a day.
The brood comb can be stored in the outside open air after your freezing weather sets in. If you space the comb so it has air circulation moths are less of an issue. Mice chewing is a danger, so hang the comb from an unheated shed or garage rafter. Freezing outdoor temps == no moth damage.
I understand the theory of bagging comb after freezing, but in my experience the bag is the perfect incubator for the moth once the bag has been opened the first time. They get in on the comb and out-of-site-out-of-mind do their dirty work.